Michael J. Malone
Douglas County Law Library

Judicial and Law Enforcement Center
111 East 11th Street
Lawrence, Kansas 66044
Phone: (785) 838-2477
Fax: (785) 838-2455

This Month in Legal History Archive

This page contains archived entries from the current year's "This Month in Legal History" column and links to the archived entries from previous years. The column features a different event from the history of law and jurisprudence of Douglas County, Kansas, that occurred during the month. It is published monthly in the Michael J. Malone Douglas County Law Library E-Mail Newsletter and on the This Month In Legal History page of this website. Entries will be added to this page, most recent at the bottom, following the end of the month in which they were published. Archived entries from previous years can be accessed by clicking on one of the links at the bottom of this page.

January 10, 1863 - Judge Louis Carpenter records his last case as Probate Judge of Douglas County, Kansas - Louis Carpenter was born on December 14, 1829, in New York State, but the exact location is unknown. Nothing else is known of him prior to him coming to Kansas Territory sometime in the late 1850s. The earliest known record of his being in Kansas is a notice appearing in the February 5th, 1859, issue of the Herald of Freedom newspaper that was published in Lawrence. The notice reported that two letters addressed to a Lewis(1) Carpenter were still in the Lawrence post office at the end of January. Three weeks later on February 26th, 1859, a legal notice appeared in the same newspaper for a case filed on February 21st, 1859, in the United States District Court of Kansas Territory, 2nd Judicial District for Douglas County, which lists Louis Carpenter as Deputy Clerk of the Court. Both the 1860 United States Census and the 1860 Lawrence city directory record him as being a lawyer. When and where he obtained his legal training is not known. Carpenter became Probate Judge for Douglas County, Kansas Territory, and one month after Kansas had entered the Union as a state that did not allow slavery, he recorded his first case as judge on February 26, 1861. Less than two months later, the divisions over the continuation of slavery that had been festering in the nation broke out as open civil war. Lawrence and Douglas County had played an important part in the movement against slavery in the 1850s, and many supporters of slavery despised the town because of it. On the evening of October 10, 1862, Judge Carpenter married Mary E. Barber at the home of her sister, Abigail, in Emporia, Kansas. Abigail’s husband, the Reverend Grosvenor C. Morse, officiated at the ceremony. At that time, Judge Carpenter was also involved in what proved to be an unsuccessful election campaign running as the candidate of the Union Party for Attorney General of Kansas. Judge Carpenter's last case as probate judge was on January 10, 1863. He was appointed as Kansas Supreme Court Reporter, and through the spring and summer of 1863, he compiled and edited material intended to be published as the first report of the Kansas Supreme Court. During this time Judge Carpenter was having a large brick house built for Mary and him, which the couple moved into in late spring or early summer 1863. They were at home with Mary's sister Abigail, who was there on a visit, on the morning of August 21, 1863, when the notorious Confederate guerrilla leader William Clarke Quantrill led his band of 400 men in an attack on Lawrence, killing and burning as they went. A number of raiders came to the Carpenter home, but Judge Carpenter was able to talk them out of doing any harm to him or his house. Then, as the raiders were assembling in preparation to leave a block or so from the Carpenters', another raider knocked on their door. Judge Carpenter was coming down the stairs as Mary opened the door. The raider asked Judge Carpenter "Where are you from," to which he replied "New York." The raider exclaimed that New Yorkers were the ones that they were after and began firing his pistol at him. Judge Carpenter ran throughout the house and then down into the cellar, trying unsuccessfully to avoid being hit by the gunfire. A second gunman joined the first and they continued to fire at Judge Carpenter through the cellar windows. There was nowhere for him to hide, and he suffered four(2) severe gunshot wounds. He came up out of the cellar and collapsed in the back yard. Mary felling down on him and tried to shield him with her body, but one of the gunmen lifted her arm and killed Judge Carpenter with a point-blank shot to his head. About three hours after Quantrill and his men left town, a crude wooden coffin was made by friends who had survived the devastation, and Judge Carpenter was buried in his own back yard. A week later, on August 28, 1863, his body was exhumed from his backyard grave and moved to another location. Three months after the raid, on November 19, 1863, the members of the Bar of Douglas County met in an official session of the District Court to memorialize the attorneys who had died in that early-morning attack. During that court session, resolutions were adopted expressing the profound grief of the members of the bar over the death of Judge Carpenter, noting his hard work, his many fine personal qualities, and offering deep sympathy to his wife and family. The session concluded with instructions that the resolutions be communicated to Judge Carpenter's family, that they be made part of the official records of the Court, and that they be transmitted to the Supreme Court of Kansas with a request that they be entered in its records "as permanent testimonials of the sentiments of this bar upon this occasion." On the first day of the Supreme Court's January 1864 term, the proceedings, statement, and resolutions on Judge Carpenter from the Douglas County Bar were ordered "to be spread upon the journal of the court," and were published in the first volume of the Kansas State Reports. After Oak Hill Cemetery was opened in Lawrence in 1865, Judge Carpenter's body was reinterred in a plot there, near to the final resting place of many other victims of Quantrill's Raid. Mary Carpenter eventually remarried and moved from Lawrence, leaving Judge Carpenter to lie alone on Oak Hill.

(1) In the handwriting style of the time, “Lewis” and “Louis” were, and are, difficult to distinguish from one another unless an example of each is available for comparison. Confusion over the spelling of the name on documents, especially if the reader was not familiar with the handwriting of the person who wrote the name, would have been common. Therefore, when dealing with handwritten documents of the period, the two spellings of the name are interchangeable for all practical purposes.

(2) An article published in the September 24, 1863, issue of the Ripley Bee, Ripley, Ohio, contains extracts of a letter written by “a lady of Lawrence, Kansas” to a relative in Ripley. The author of the letter identifies herself as a friend of Mary (e.g. Mary Carpenter, Louis Carpenter's wife) and, among other things, describes the attack on Judge Carpenter.

(From: Judge Louis Carpenter page, Michael J. Malone Douglas County Law Library website. Published 1/16.)  Back to top of page

February 13, 1926 - Joseph Myler is arrested for criminal libel for producing an "obscene" publication at Baker University - Joseph Larkin Myler was born on January 22, 1905, in Iola, Kansas, to Emberson W. and Laura Kate Myler. Before Joseph was born, the elder Myler held a number of positions as principal and superintendent of schools in various small towns in Kansas, and later began the practice of law. Joseph's mother was a school teacher. It is apparent that education was important to the Myler Family. Joseph grew up in Iola, and when he was old enough for college, he went to Baldwin City, Kansas, and enrolled in Baker University. The elder Myler had been a principal in the Baldwin City school system from 1890 to 1896, so he would have been familiar with Baker University and may have influenced his son to attend school there. Joseph joined the Baker chapter of Theta Nu Epsilon. At the time of Joseph's involvement, Theta Nu Epsilon was an organization only for members of the sophomore class. It had apparently been operating on the Baker campus without the knowledge of the university or the people of Baldwin City, and when this was discovered, it was referred to in the press as an "outlaw fraternity". Joseph became secretary of the fraternity, and supposedly was informed in late 1925 that as such, he was required to edit and produce a publication once a month. Joseph Myler took on those duties and began producing what was destined to be called The Rod. The first issue of The Rod was distributed on campus on January 21, 1926. It apparently contained gossip and unflattering portrayals of the morals of various members of the Baker community. As such, it created quite a stir at the school, and was soon being referred to as "obscene" and a "smut sheet". The university administration created a special disciplinary committee to look into the matter. The Douglas County, Kansas, authorities went further, and on February 13, 1926, Myler was arrested on a charge of criminal libel. Twelve(1) other men were also implicated in the case. Douglas County Sheriff W.J Cummings arrested as many of them as he could locate. Several of the men were members of the basketball team, and were prevented from playing in that evening's game. Myler was reported to have confessed to his role as editor when he was arrested. He apparently was released on bond as he went home to Iola. Myler returned to Baldwin City on the morning of the 15th, and took his clothes and other property back home. Speculation was that this indicated he was quitting the school. The incident caused quite a stir across the state, as that same day the Kansas Book Dealers Association adopted a resolution opposing "the sale of publications which are excluded from the United States mails", as were obscene publications, and the Kansas Attorney General Charles B. Griffin announced that his office would attempt to suppress the circulation of "salacious magazines" in Kansas, He was quoted as saying "When the minds of students at a church school like Baker becomes [sic] so filthy that such rot as this is written, it is time we keep out of Kansas the magazines which poison the minds of our children." Those opposed to Griffin's proposal contended that fighting against such publications would only increase their sales. Several days later, Myler's attorney attempted to get the Baker authorities to drop the suit against his client, pointing out that it should be a school matter and not a criminal one, but County Attorney George K. Melvin doubted that it would be dropped. Late on February 23rd, Melvin issued a warrant for Lee Hettick, owner and publisher of the Gridley Light, a newspaper in Gridley, Kansas. Despite earlier assertions by the men who had been arrested that a printer in Baldwin City had been responsible for printing the publication, it had been determined that The Rod had been printed by Hettick. The following day, Myler's case came up before Judge Hugh Means, the judge in the Douglas County District Court. He pled guilty and was fined $100 by Judge Means. Commenting on his decision, the judge said, "No purpose would be served by a prison sentence other than serving as a warning to others and I hope that warning already is sufficiently plain." Myler was asked if the other twelve men who had been arrested were also implicated, and his response was "that they were to about the same as himself". Judge Means set an appearance bond of $200 for Myler to testify as a witness against the other twelve men in their trials that were scheduled for the May court session. On March 15th, Sheriff Cummings traveled to Gridley, arrested Hettick, and brought him back to Lawrence, the county seat of Douglas County. He was released from custody on $500 bail. Around the first of May, County Attorney Melvin received a telegram from the executive secretary of Theta Nu Epsilon saying that contrary to what the young men who had been arrested had originally said, the fraternity had had nothing to do with the publication of The Rod, and that the Baker chapter had been suspended about a year prior to the incident. The May court term got underway on the 3rd, and Melvin dismissed charges against the other twelve men, noting that since Myler had pled guilty in February, "it was believed that all had been punished who could be punished in connection with the sheet". Charges against Hettick for defamation by printing the publication were not dropped and the intent was to bring him to trial in a few weeks. The expectation was that he would plead guilty. The records of Hettick's case in the files of the Douglas County District Court do not indicate that he went to trial, and no newspaper account has been located reporting how his case came out, so he probably did plead guilty as had earlier been speculated and paid whatever fine was imposed by Judge Means. After Myler's unceremonial exit from Baker University, he finished his college education at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and then began a career in journalism. He got a job as city editor of the Herington Times in Herington, Kansas, and later moved home to Iola to work on the Iola Daily Register, eventually becoming managing editor of the newspaper. The exact chronology of these events is not clear, but it is known that he was living in Iola with his mother in 1930. In January 1933, Myler joined the United Press news agency and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. On Oct. 24, 1934, he married Helen Elizabeth Austin, who was from Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. Myler was transferred from Kansas City to Jefferson City, Missouri, and later to Dallas, Texas. He was transferred again, to New York City, where he worked as a rewrite man. Once again, the chronology of these events is not clear, but he and Elizabeth were living in the Jackson Heights neighborhood in New York City's borough of Queens in 1940. Myler was transferred from New York to Washington, D.C., on December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He wrote many of the lead stories out of the Washington office, including the Allied invasion of Normandy, the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the end of the war in Europe, the atomic bombing of Japan, and the end of the war in the Pacific. As part of this work, Myler handled President Truman's public announcement of the development of the atomic bomb. He covered the first postwar test of nuclear weapons at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in July of 1946, and was back there again in May 1956 for the testing of the first Hydrogen bomb. Myler wrote many magazine articles on nuclear energy and was the author of an authoritative article on the subject for the Encyclopedia Britannica. In 1957, he began specializing in science writing, and won both the National Headliners Award from the Press Club of Atlantic City, New Jersey, for his work and an Atomic Industrial Forum award in 1969 for "making a significant contribution to public understanding of nuclear energy". Myler also covered all but one of the national political conventions between 1940 and 1968, as well as several presidential campaigns. He retired in December 1972 when he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. He was quoted as saying, "I had spent a lifetime prepping for cirrhosis of the liver or lung cancer or both. But my liver is dandy and my lungs are fine. Goddam my gullet, I say." Joseph Larkin Myler died in Washington on July 5, 1973. The couple had no children, so he was survived by only his wife Elizabeth. Myler lived an eventful life, and for someone who started out his journalism career by writing for The Rod at Baker University and being fined $100 for criminal libel because if it, he went a long way indeed.

(1) Some newspaper reports had the number at eleven, but there were twelve names listed when they were printed in a newspaper article.

(From: The El Dorado Times (El Dorado, Ark., August 17, 1973, p. 2; Joseph L. [Myler], 1910 U.S. Census, Iola, Allen County, Kansas, 4/20/1910; Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students of the State Normal School, Emporia, Kansas. Thirty-Sixth Year - 1899-1900, Emporia, Kansas, 1900, p. 28; Joseph Larkin [Myler], 1920 U.S. Census, Iola, Allen County, Kansas, 1/14/1920; Theta Nu Epsilon, Wikipedia website; Lawrence Daily Journal-World, v. 70, no. 39 (February 15, 1926), p. 1; Lawrence Daily Journal-World, v. 70, no. 42 (February 18, 1926), p. 1; Lawrence Daily Journal-World, v. 70, no. 47 (February 24, 1926), p. 1; Lawrence Daily Journal-World, v. 70, no. 61 (March 16, 1926), p. 1; Lawrence Daily Journal-World, v. 70, no. 105 (May 3, 1926), p. 1; Douglas County, Kansas, Newspaper Articles, genealogytrails.com website; [Myler,] Joseph L., 1930 U.S. Census, Iola, Allen County, Kansas, 4/3/1930; Myler, Joseph L., 1940 U.S. Census, New York, Queens, New York, 4/16/1940; and, The Times-News (Henderson, N.C.), v. 94, no. 286 (December 3, 1969), p. 11. Published 2/16.)  Back to top of page

March 8, 1858 - Charles Freeman convicted of selling “spirituous liquors” without a license - The Santa Fe Trail was established in 1821 as a commerce route between the United States and the Mexican territory of Nuevo México. Mexico had just gained independence from Spain, and businessmen in the United States wanted to establish trade between the two nations. The Trail began in Independence, Missouri, and wound its way southeast through the southern portions of the unorganized territory acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. It eventually entered Mexican territory before ending in Santa Fe. Traffic along the trail increased steadily, and the quantity of goods going back and forth increased proportionally. United States acquired Nuevo México as a result of its victory in the Mexican-American War, and trade to the newly renamed New Mexico Territory increased. Long trains of freight wagons loaded with cottons and woolens, silks, velvets, and hardware would set out from Missouri and go down the trail southwest to Santa Fe. They would return with furs, blankets, and gold and silver. Cattle were also driven on the trail in large numbers. Another commodity that the traders brought out of Missouri was alcohol. It was highly valued both for consumption by the traders, and for trade along the trail. Kansas Territory was established on May 30, 1854, to allow white settlement of the area, and men came into the territory to settle and look for the economic opportunities available in a new land. Many of them had previously worked on the Santa Fe Trail and had seen the value of the land and the potential for profit there. All this activity soon gave rise to a large demand for “spirituous liquors”, and many willing peddlers soon became dealers in alcohol, which subsequently brought on calls to regulate the trade. A significantly large number of the alcohol traders were committed to selling their product to members of the numerous Indians nations that lived in eastern Kansas. Those nations included the Kansa, Osage, Pawnee, Delaware, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Kaskaskia, Peoria, Wea, Piankashaw, Ottawa, Sauk, Fox, Iowa, Miami, and Wyandotte. Most of these Indians had previously been settled by the United States government in the area that was to become Kansas Territory after they were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in the east to make way for white settlement. In the winter of 1855, the widow of John Meeker, a missionary who had lived among the Ottawa, wrote upon her husband's death about the conditions of the Ottawa on the reservation. "As to the poor forsaken Indians I know not what to say. They feel that they have lost a true friend, and will never find another. In addition to this, they are in a suffering condition. On account of the great failure of the crops last season, they are left without anything to eat. Some of them are now living on roots. I fear they will die of hunger. Provisions are very high here. The white people who are settling around us are some of the worst in the world, and are standing ready to injure the Indians in every possible way in their power." Many of those white people Mrs. Meeker wrote about sold alcohol to the Indians. Because of its proximity to a number of reservations, Douglas County was home to many such traders. The 1855 Statutes of Kansas Territory decreed that, “A special election is hereby ordered, to be held on the first Monday of October, in the year of 1855, and on the first Monday of October every two years thereafter, in each municipal township, in every county in the territory, and in each incorporated city or town in the territory, to take the vote of the people upon the question, whether dram-shops and tavern licenses shall be issued in the said township, incorporated city or town, for the next two years thereafter.” A resident of Douglas County named Charles Freeman was arrested sometime in early 1858, charged with selling “spirituous liquors” without having first having obtained a license as a “grocer, dram-shop keeper, or tavern keeper, contrary to the statute in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the territory of Kansas.” He was brought before the Second Judicial District Court in Lecompton. Kansas Territory, on March 8, 1858, where he was indicted, tried, and convicted on the charge. He then appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the Territory of Kansas. The Supreme Court heard the case in December 1858 and struck down Freeman’s conviction on the grounds that the indictment in the case had been “clearly defective” because it had not named “any county of the district, or any place in the district” where the alleged crime had taken place. In 1858, the Second Judicial District contained eight counties, each of which had set separate jurisdictional limits within its own boundaries. The court found that the question of “In which of these was this offense committed?” impossible to determine because of the absence of such written information on the indictment. Without being able to identify the location of Freeman’s offense, the Supreme Court found it impossible to determine if Freeman had sold alcohol in a location where a license would have been required. Although Freeman was exonerated, the case clarified for local officials the way they could deal with illegal alcohol traders, which aided the local authorities in their attempts to end the illegal trade. Progress was slow, evidence by a report from Lewis Henry Morgan who visited Kansas Territory in 1859. He witnessed large numbers of illegally operating white alcohol traders still targeting Indians in their trade.

(From: Statutes of Kansas Territory, 1855, chap. 64, sec. 1, page 32; and, The End of Indian Kansas, by H. Craig Miner and William Unrau, University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, 1978, 67. Published 3/16.)  Back to top of page

April 5, 1898 - An attempt to cause a train wreck near Eudora, Kansas, is foiled - In the evening of April 5, 1898, a man was walking along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad tracks east of Eudora, Kansas. When he was about a quarter mile from town, he found several rails and ties laid across the tracks. They had been placed so that any train that ran into them would derail and wreck. The obstructions were too heavy for the man to remove alone, so he hurried into town and notified the Santa Fe agent there, who quickly sent out a warning to stations up and down the line to stop all trains. An eastbound passenger train, No. 116, was due there around 9:30 p.m. and a westbound express train, No. 7, was due around 10:30 p.m. The agent at the Lawrence station, approximately seven miles west of Eudora, held No. 116 until the rails and ties could be removed from the tracks. After he received notice that the obstructions had been removed and the line was again safe and open, No. 116 was allowed to proceed and so normal rail service was resumed. The last train to pass prior to the discovery of the obstructions had been a westbound express at around 5:45 p.m. The rails and ties would have had to have been emplaced after that, and so could not have been in place very long when they were discovered. Train wrecks, which frequently resulted in loss of life, were all too common, so deliberately wrecking a train, especially a passenger train, was a serious crime. Railroads were extremely sensitive to crimes committed against them. They employed special detectives to investigate crimes committed on railroad property and bring the perpetrators to trial. The incident east of Eudora was no exception. Detectives began an intensive search and were described as being "at work everywhere to find the culprits..." The AT&SF soon offered a reward, but there is no evidence that the motive for the attempted wreck was ever determined or that those responsible for the deed were ever identified or brought to justice.

(From: Lawrence Daily Journal, v. 30, no. 82 (April 6, 1898), p. 4; and, Lawrence Daily Journal, v. 30, no. 87 (April 12, 1898), p. 2. Published 4/16.)  Back to top of page

May 30, 1862 - Elliott V. Banks writes a rather gossipy letter to John Hutchings about his fellow attorneys in Lawrence, Kansas - In the winter of 1849, Dr. Charles Robinson, who would eventually become the first governor of the State of Kansas, joined a party of men that was organizing in Boston, Massachusetts. The party intended to go to the gold fields in California, and Robinson signed on as physician. They left Boston on March 19th, and made their way west through Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and St. Louis, eventually arriving at Westport, Missouri, the town that would later be renamed Kansas City. They struck out west along the Kaw River through the unorganized land that five years later would become the Territory of Kansas. About fifty river miles from Westport, Dr. Robinson observed what to him looked like the ideal place for a town site. He kept that idea in the back of his mind through the rest of the trip to California, through his many adventures there, and through his trip back to Massachusetts in 1851. By 1854, there was a push to open up the territory west of Missouri to white settlement and eventual statehood. A bill known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act had been introduced in congress to accomplish this. One provision of the bill was to allow the residents of the new Territory of Kansas to vote on whether it would allow slavery. Those opposed to slavery in the east organized groups to oppose Kansas becoming a slave state, and one of them, the New England Emigrant Aid Company, was determined to send settlers to the territory to make Kansas free. Dr. Robinson had written several letters about the places he had seen in his trip through the future Kansas which attracted considerable attention, and he soon found himself associated with the Company. The Kansas-Nebraska Act passed and was signed into law on May 30, 1854. The New England Aid Company began organizing parties of men to head for Kansas to settle and organize Free State towns there to oppose the proponents of slavery who were also beginning to come into the territory. On June 28, 1854, Dr. Robinson left Massachusetts for Kansas as an agent of the Company to select town sites. One of those that he chose was that ideal site he had observed along the Kaw River on his trip to California back in 1849. The Company began sending parties of Free State emigrants out to Kansas to settle, with the first one going to the new town site on the Kaw. Dr. Robinson led the Company's second party to the new town. Several names, including Wakarusa and New Boston, were proposed for the name of the town, but in October 1854, it was decided that it would be named Lawrence, in honor of Amos Lawrence, a benefactor of the Company. Because it was known as the Free State headquarters in Kansas, many proslavery supporters hated the town, which caused it and its residents significant trouble. It was sacked and burned on May 21, 1856, but soon recovered and prospered. That prosperity brought many men and women in a wide variety of trades and professions to town, including those in the legal profession. A number of attorneys came to Lawrence to set up practice and work with the problematic but profitable legal aspects of life in a rapidly developing new land. Kansas was admitted to the Union in 1861, and by 1862, there were at a good number of lawyers practicing in Lawrence. One of them, Elliott V. Banks, wrote a letter dated May 30, 1862, to a friend and fellow lawyer named John Hutchings, who was contemplating a move to Lawrence. Banks wrote that "Believing that you will finally be 'one among us' I deem it expedient to give you a 'concise' view of your destined contestants." His observations were frequently sharp, unflattering, and rather gossipy. Banks had good things to say about Wilson Shannon, a former governor of Kansas Territory who held the office during the summer of 1856, the most violent period of the "Bleeding Kansas" era, reporting him as "a grave dignified gentlemanly man, a first rate lawyer, as good as any in the state...." He did not, however, have a high opinion of Louis Carpenter, who at the time was serving as probate judge. Banks refers to him as a "close over-read bookworm", who "stick[s] so close to the books that he often gets outside of the case & books too". He continues his observations, writing that Judge Carpenter was "a great brag", "a great egotist....", and that he "has a poor faculty for making - or rather keeping friends...." Banks also wrote that Judge Carpenter "abuses witnesses needlessly." The excoriation of Judge Carpenter ends with the observation that Solon O. Thatcher, who had recently become judge in the Kansas Fourth Judicial District, had left his Lawrence practice "in Carpenters [sic] hands". Considering that the Reverend Richard Cordley would later call Judge Carpenter "a young man of marked ability," perhaps some of Bank's animosity towards him was based more on jealously than on reality(1). This possibility becomes more believable when looking at how Banks described another Lawrence attorney, James S. Emery. Banks writes that Emery was "So notoriously scheming and tricky & dishonest that his...now fair business is fast dwindling out. He is doubtless a scoundrel. Smooth & oily but his oil is plainly penetrable." Emery was later to serve as a state legislator, as a United States District Attorney, as a regent of the University of Kansas, and as president of the Kansas State Historical Society. Though none of these accomplishments disprove Bank's assessments as to Emery's character, they do call them into question. Even though there is a question as to whether all of the observations he recorded in his letter were entirely accurate or fair, the letter that Banks wrote to his friend John Hutchings still provides valuable information on the makeup and activities of Lawrence's legal community in 1862. It is made even more valuable because most of the other potential sources for this information were destroyed when Lawrence was attacked and burned the next year in Quantrill's Raid.

(1)Considering how Banks felt about Judge Carpenter, it is interesting that he took over as Reporter for the Kansas Supreme Court when Carpenter, who at the time was serving in that office, was killed in Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence on August 21, 1863.

(From: Charles Robinson: The First Free-State Governor of Kansas, by Frank W. Blackmar, Crane & Company, Topeka, pp. 22-29; Robinson, Charles, Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co., Chicago, 1912, Vol. 2, pp. 589-591; Letter, from Elliott V. Banks to John Hutchings, May 30, 1862, Hutchings, John, 1836- , Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries; and, A Survey in Retrospect: A Letter of Elliott V. Banks, by Paul R. Wilson, The University of Kansas Law Review, v. 10, no. 2 (December 1961), pp. 123-132. Published 5/16.)  Back to top of page

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